RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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30 August 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE RISMEDIA: How are you different from Gino and other industry CEOs? CS: I know some of our industry's brand leaders, and others I respect from a distance. I believe that what makes me different is my combined background. Spe - cifically, my years at Oracle, where we worked in teams of high-tech solutionists, combined with my many years in real estate brokerage, enables me to not only understand everything that goes into building winning real estate cultures, but also, the way in which emerg - ing technologies must be effectively integrated. Typically, real estate brands either have leaders with a tech or corporate background, where they require significant help in understanding all of the nuances of real estate brokerage, or CEOs with great real es- tate experience who may have profound gaps in their understanding of where technology can really drive an impact to their organizations and our industry as a whole. I feel fortunate to have had deep exposure to both disciplines, as each environment clearly needs to be strategically integrated. RISMEDIA: Speaking of your background, we under- stand that your becoming CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices would have been considered by Vegas oddsmakers as a long shot. CS: It's certainly been a fun ride! I guess you could look at my upbringing and life's journey on paper and call me a long shot. My mom was 17 when I was born, and my dad was never in the picture. Coming from subsidized apartments as a youngster to this role was certainly not the well-groomed path of some corporate executives. And that's what I love about this country and the opportunity to work hard and compete in the business world. And specific to our industry, I believe my story is pretty common. There are so many brokers and agents who have also beaten the predictive data odds to be - come successful based on their hard work, resource- fulness, resilience and other key qualities. This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about helping to keep the real estate industry, our brand and our agents viable and successful for years to come. RISMEDIA: Chris, during your CEO acceptance and key - note speech, you brought onto the stage a professional magician...why? CS: To humorously illuminate how our industry's use of the "disruption" label is, in my opinion, more distract- ing than representative of meaningful change. Over the last few years in all of my travels through- out our network, and at essentially every industry con- vention, the word "disruption" inevitably came up. Not only was the word introduced incessantly, it was being brought up in a foreboding manner. I believe that one of my responsibilities as CEO of our brand and system is to properly contextualize threats, be they real or imagined. RISMEDIA: Can you be more specific about your inter- pretation of the industry's view on disruption? CS: Disruption is very real. I began my career in the mid-'90s within the technology industry and had an opportunity to work very closely with companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. From upstart Silicon Valley dotcoms to some of the largest enterprises in the world, technology's impact as a transformative force of industries isn't a new phenomenon. Virtually without exception, when you look at the re- sult of technology-centered disruption in most indus- tries, it creates very real and substantial business out- comes that are largely based on a better experience for the consumer. And the result of elevating the expe- rience for the consumer creates a better outcome for the businesses who helped champion the disruption. When I look at the impact of disruption within the real estate industry, I don't see the same clarity of outcome that I observe in other industries. RISMEDIA: Are you saying the industry need not be concerned about disruption? CS: No, we believe the industry should be vigilant and persistent in its pursuit of constant innovation. How - ever, the output of those efforts should create a bet- ter experience for real estate clients that leads to a healthier industry that is sustainable. What I am saying is that the industry has been ob- sessed with the totality of the word and has not devot- ƐǁĞĐŽŶƟŶƵĞƚŽǁĂĚĞ ƚŚƌŽƵŐŚƚŚĞǀĂƌŝŽƵƐŵŽĚĞůƐ ĂŶĚŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƟĞƐĂǀĂŝůĂďůĞƚŽ ƚŚĞĐŽŶƐƵŵĞƌ/ďĞůŝĞǀĞƚŚĞƌŽůĞ ŽĨƚŚĞƉƌŽĨĞƐƐŝŽŶĂůƌĞĂůĞƐƚĂƚĞ ƐĂůĞƐƉĞƌƐŽŶŝƐĞůĞǀĂƚĞĚŶŽƚ ĚŝůƵƚĞĚŽƌĚŝƐŝŶƚĞƌŵĞĚŝĂƚĞĚ – CHRIS STUART CEO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

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